The European Commission and the Indian Council of Social Science Research signed a new implementing arrangement to enhance scientific cooperation. In a statement, the EU said it encourages top Indian social scientists to join temporary research teams in Europe funded by the European Research Council (ERC). The joint initiative is the second of its kind for the ERC with an Indian funding body, it said. The Ambassador of the European Union to India, Ugo Astuto, and the Member Secretary of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), Virendra Kumar Malhotra, signed the Implementing Arrangement in a virtual mode.
“This initiative will provide opportunities to Indian researchers (Principal Investigators of Research Projects, Senior Fellowship Awardees and Post-Doctoral Fellows) who are supported by the ICSSR and want to pursue research collaborations with European researchers, supported by the ERC. The role of the ERC and the ICSSR is to facilitate contacts between their respective scholars who are interested in international cooperation,” the statement said.
Astuto said science has no borders and global research collaboration is essential for developing sustainable solutions to global and societal challenges. “This arrangement will help foster collaboration in the field of social sciences between the EU and India,” he said. Bhushan Patwardhan, Chairman, ICSSR and Vice-Chairman, University Grants Commission (UGC) welcomed this new initiative and hoped that a number of potential scholars will benefit through carrying out research visits with ERC-supported teams. He stated that “India has great scientific tradition, which has been deeply embedded in our civilisational and cultural values”.